Led by virtuoso guitarist Kim Simmonds, Savoy Brown were at the forefront of the blues rock movement of the late 1960s. But thanks to various behind the scenes problems, they never quite achieved the success of their peers. Here’s a look at why the London outfit failed to fulfill their initial promise.
Savoy Brown were founded in 1965 after harmonicist John O’Leary and guitarist Kim Simmonds struck up a friendship at a record shop in Soho, London. The pair added to the original line-up with vocalist Bryce Portius, bassist Ray Chappell, keyboard player Trevor Jeavons, and Leo Manning on the drums. But in a sign of things to come, the latter left almost as quickly as he arrived.
After recruiting Bob Hall as Jeavons’ replacement, Savoy Brown went through another personnel change. This time around it was founding member O’Leary who made his exit, following a row with the group’s manager and Kim’s brother, Harry Simmonds. The remaining members then recorded numerous covers of blues classics for their 1967 first studio effort, Shake Down.